Fiddler's Green

A Purple Thread: The Supernatural Doom of Oscar Wilde

Format: zine


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A Peculiar Parish Edition by Nina Antonia and Nathaniel Winter-Hebert
32 pages, with black-and-white illustrations throughout

Even before his birth, the life of Oscar Wilde was one shaped by dark, otherworldly forces. From a childhood spent in the fabled lands of Tir na nOg to his star-crossed romance with Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde’s trajectory through the artistic and social worlds of his day seemed guided by strange fate, some of it prophesied in his most famous works, including Salome and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

In this focused biographical account, author Nina Antonia examines the florid tapestry of the playwright’s tragic ascent and fall, revealing, as Wilde himself called it, “the note of doom that like a purple thread” ran through—and eventually cut short—the life of one of literature’s most celebrated and scandalous icons.